World-Shaking Prayer in the Desert
When pastor Tommy Barnett had a vision for a prayer chapel at Dream City Church in 1978, Saeed K. Hosseini still worshipped at the altar of worldly riches, influence, and sports cars.
That their paths eventually crossed and led to the formation of Dream City’s prayer ministry — and its noteworthy Prayer Pavilion — is miraculous.
Cynthia I. Hosseini, who came from a Mormon background, and Saeed, raised in a Muslim home, received Jesus as their Savior while attending Century Assembly of God (now New Hope Christian Fellowship) in suburban Chicago in the 1980s. Eventually, the couple sold their prosperous chain of pizza franchises and, at the Lord’s direction, relocated to Phoenix.
It only took one visit to Dream City (known then as Phoenix First Assembly of God) to know they had found their reason for moving. Several years later, Saeed had a vision similar to the one Barnett embraced years earlier.
“Tommy had a vision for a prayer chapel for more than 20 years,” says the 59-year-old Hosseini, who became prayer pastor in 2001. “The Prayer Pavilion is a jewel that God has brought into being for such a time as this.”
Situated on a mountain overlooking Phoenix, the Pavilion, which opened in 2007, includes a 250-seat chapel. Until last fall, people gathered there for weekly praise and prayer services. When the turnouts outgrew the chapel, current Dream City Church pastor Luke Barnett invited the Hosseinis to move the meetings to the main sanctuary and made them the church’s midweek service.
Via the internet, the meetings are live streamed worldwide at 6:30 p.m. Phoenix time, with services archived for viewing later. In addition to live worship, both Saeed and Cynthia speak during the gatherings, which are held on Tuesdays.
“We call it intercessory worship,” says Hosseini, ordained after studying at Berean School of the Bible. “We worship with intercession and we intercede with our worship. God has given us a pattern and the congregation has embraced it.” Hosseini is a newly appointed member of the national AG prayer committee.
The Pavilion is also home to the Global 365 Prayer Network, which maintains relationships with 100,000 prayer partners in more than 60 nations. Viewers of its online streaming programs span such far-flung locales as Guatemala and South Korea.
According to Hosseini, over the past 12 years, more than 3,200 people have been healed of cancer through the prayer ministry and one of its divisions, Team Up Against Cancer. The group has more than a dozen core group members who visit area hospitals to pray with patients and 100-plus intercessors.
Retired businessman David J. Bryant, 78, chairs this effort. His original inspiration came from his healing (prior to his conversion in 2005) of what had been diagnosed as a fatal form of the disease. Through networks of Christians he formed while still traveling on business, Bryant says thousands worldwide are praying for cancer patients on Dream City’s prayer list.
“Somebody, someplace in the world is praying for people on this list 24/7,” Bryant says. People are healed of more than cancer, too. Six months ago, a church member asked for prayer for a family member who had overdosed on heroin. Saeed told Cynthia he knew God wanted him to go see the hospitalized patient that night.
Although a doctor had pronounced the man brain dead, Hosseini told him to declare to his spirit that he wanted to live. The next day, the man’s mother called Hosseini to tell him her son had awakened. He recently completed the first phase of the treatment program at the Los Angeles Dream Center.
In April, a man scheduled for bypass surgery the next day asked for prayer on Tuesday night. He returned to the gathering a week later with the news he didn’t need surgery.
“It’s just miracle after miracle,” says Cynthia, 64. “We hear of people being prayed for and getting healed, or just sitting in the presence of God and getting healed. We even call people during the meetings to pray for them.”